165 - Essay 2


Adbusters: Culture Jammers
The Militia of Montana


No matter which website you choose to write about, I would like you to follow the format below for your analysis.

1. After exploring the website and looking over the various subpages, pick out one or two prime examples of text in which the authors explain their argument or position, or put forth their agenda. Use the techniques you have learned to isolate the basic elements of an argument (conclusion and premises) and summarize it (include notable and relevant assumptions).

Then evaluate this argument. Discuss the quality of the evidence used in support of the premises and any assumptions that are weak or biased. Point out contradictions or inconsistencies in the reasoning. Cite examples (quotes or paraphrases) from the text to support your analysis. Remember, your analysis may include both positive and negative observations regarding the site's argument.

2. Then look at the visual layout of the site. What graphic elements are used? Where do they appear? How do they work with the text, do they enhance the message of the site or detract from it? If symbols are used, what do they represent and how do these emphasize or relate to the overall message? Do the images themselves convey their own narrative or level of meaning? Use the checklist for visual criteria to guide your analysis.

3. Finally, discuss audience and purpose. Who are the targeted viewers of the site and what would the authors like the viewers to do? Use Jib Fowles categories of appeals to decide what kinds of universal and emotional needs the website is appealing to. If you wish, you may also discuss whether you feel the site is trying to create an online "community" as discussed in London's article. If so, does this site do a good job and do you feel the whole notion of virtual community is feasible?

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